Children and Young Person's Mental Health and Well-being

What can affect children and young people’s mental health?

As children grow and their bodies and minds develop, they may struggle to adjust to these natural changes. Puberty can play a part in the emotional and mental well-being of children and young people. But external factors can also impact their mental and emotional health, such as: 

Traumatic events like an injury or loss of a loved one, particularly a parent. 

Changes to routine, family life or social life can impact their emotional or mental wellbeing. 

What signs should you look out for? 

There are all sorts of concerns young people may need support with. You must reach out and speak to someone if you experience:

  • Sadness, low mood or depression

  • Feelings of worry, anxiety, low confidence

  • Problems with eating or your relationship with food

  • Anger and irritability

  • Problems sleeping, sleeping more than usual, fatigue or insomnia

  • Hearing voices or seeing things

  • Thoughts about wanting to hurt yourself

  • Complicated feelings after a traumatic event

  • Distancing yourself from friends or family

  • A lack of interest or loss of interest in hobbies

For parents and carers, it's important to be aware of any changes in behaviour or mood so you can support your child to stay mentally healthy. You can find more information on what to look for and how to support your child on NHS Every Mind Matters.

When should you reach out for help?

You should still reach out for support even if what's bothering you isn't listed. Mental health looks different for everyone. You don't need to be in crisis before you reach out for help. The sooner you speak to someone about what's bothering you, the sooner you can start feeling like yourself again. There are lots of different ways you can access support: 

If you're in a crisis and need urgent help:

If you don't feel you can keep yourself safe right now, seek immediate help by visiting your nearest Accident and Emergency (A&E) department or by calling 999.

If you need urgent support but don't want to go to A&E:

If you need support but feel safe:

NHS support for children and young people

There are NHS Child and Young People's Mental Health Services (CYMPHS) services around the UK, and parents, carers, and young people can receive direct support through these services.


Child and Young People's Mental Health Services (CYMPHS), previously Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) are NHS services which support children and young people's emotional, behavioural and mental health.

How do I access CYMPHS?

Typically, you will need a referral from your GP. Some services will accept referrals from schools, social workers, and youth offending teams. You must tell the person referring you as much as possible. This will help you access the proper care and support. If you are old enough, you can refer yourself.

Who does CYPMHS support?

How long CYPMHS support is often personal to the individual seeking care. They typically support children and young people 18 years old and younger. If you are older than 18 , Mind's guide on adult services and our list of other options for support can help you get the right care for you.

Local Support:

Nightstop: Offer mental health support and counselling for children and young people.

 0151 345 6454

194 Warrington road, Widnes. WA8 0AT.

NightStop Communities Northwest CIC - Home (

CAMHS crisis response team

01744 415 640  Available 24 hours a day seven days a week.

The Mersey Care 24 hour response team is for young people up to the age of 18 experiencing emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties which are causing difficulties in their school, family or social life.

The service is for children and young people who are registered with a GP in Halton, Knowsley, St Helens and Warrington, up to their 18th birthday presenting in crisis needing an emergency response.

Other services that can provide you with support


Childline is a free, private and confidential service here to help anyone under 19 in the UK with any issue they’re going through.

You can talk to them about anything, whatever your worry, whenever you need help, anytime day or night.

1-2-1 counsellor chat

0800 1111



Shout is a free, nationwide, text-based, 24/7 service for people experiencing crisis. It’s a place to go if you’re anxious, worried, stressed, or struggling to cope and need help.

Text 85258

Young Minds 

Young Minds is a mental health charity for children and young people. They provide advice and information about mental health conditions and support for both young people and parents and carers.

Text YM to 85258

Parents Helpline, 9.30am - 4pm, Monday to Friday - 0808 802 5544


Mind is a mental health charity which provides advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They have a section on their website on CAMHS and can help you find support in your area.

Monday to Friday, 9am - 6pm - 0300 123 3393

Text 86463

The Mix 

The Mix is a free, confidential support service for young people under 25. They are here to help you on any challenge you’re facing – from mental health to money, from homelessness to finding a job, from break-ups to drugs.

Other methods are also available including one to one chat and counselling services

Everyday, 4pm -11pm - 0808 808 4994



The NHS website has further information on CYPMHS, including transitioning from CYPMHS to adult services, and other resources.

NHS CYPMHS web page

Information taken from NHS webpage 29/02/2024